Brown River Queen cover art

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowmen in the Mist

If you live pretty much anywhere in the United States, here's your weather forecast, in a single image:

Sorry about that.  Those of you who have already endured seventeen feet of snow this winter are probably ready for a bit of sun -- but that isn't likely to emerge for some time now.

Here in Mississippi, all we're getting are winds and heavy rains, both howling down from a lead-grey sky.  I got a faceful of cold rain a while ago, driven by a gleeful gust that I suppose had been dying to slap someone since leaving Alberta.  I took the assault personally, and had words with the atmosphere. 

In non-weather news, I have decided to update my ancient version of Word at home before I'm too deep into the new novel.  Yes, I know, word is a product of Microsoft&Evil, Inc., but it's also the industry standard and unless one wants to pay for a WordPerfect to Word conversion and then re-write the whole thing because the conversion is flaky at best, one will use Word from the start and like it.

I want Word 2010.  Word 2007 is slightly cheaper, but not much, and I'll probably spring for the extra twenty bucks or so and get the latest and greatest.  I've looked at some of the new features in Word 2010, and it seems the biggest changes have been to add shadows and reflections to the various fonts.

Really.  Shadows and reflections.  Just what a weary-eyed editor wants to see -- squiggly Olde English characters, in light yellow, casting delicate shadows at their feet and dim reflections in the background.  Either one alone assures a quick sale.  Make a note of that, all you up and coming young writers...heh heh heh.

What I really get, though, is compatibility with everyone else.  My version is so old I have to use an actual pencil.  When I click HELP, a little old man eventually wanders up to the house and says "Eh?"  When I decide to save a file, I have to have a wax cylinder ready.

You get the picture.

I'm still working on the opening to Brown River Queen.  I'm taking it slow, having fun with it, letting the rest of the book plot itself out in my subconscious while I fiddle with the first paragraph.  You hear that, subconscious?  I want this thing plotted, paced, supplied with relevant subplots, and moving along a graceful story arc by the end of next week, or it's another marathon of old 'Love Boat' episodes for you, pal.

Oh, and if Microsoft is reading this, and I must assume that they are stroking a fat white cat and plotting world domination while reading this, you could generate some much-needed good karma by sending me a free copy of Word 2010 (the 64-bit edition, please).  

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